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Indiana Public Retirement System

Indiana Public Retirement System (INPRS) > My Fund > Police and Firefighters > Police and Firefighters Member Handbook: Introduction Police and Firefighters Member Handbook: Introduction

This handbook summarizes your rights and benefits as a member of the 1977 Police Officers’ and Firefighters’ Pension and Disability Fund (1977 Fund).

General Information

The 1977 Fund was established to pay pension, disability, and survivor benefits to eligible public safety officers and their survivors.

Effective July 1, 2011, the Board of Trustees of the Indiana Public Retirement System (INPRS) will administer the fund. After that time, any references made to the PERF Board in handbooks and other written materials will mean the INPRS Board.

The Fund consists of member contributions, employer contributions, and earnings. These amounts are used to make benefit payments to Fund members and their survivors as specified by Indiana statutes.

What is the 1977 Fund?

The 1977 Fund was established to pay pension, disability, and survivor benefits to eligible public safety officers and their survivors.

This handbook explains the benefit provisions to the members and employers of the 1977 Police Officers’ and Firefighters’ Pension and Disability Fund.

Coverage

Membership in the 1977 Fund is mandatory for full-time, fully-paid police officers and firefighters who work for employers participating in the 1977 Fund and who are hired or rehired after April 30, 1977.

However, to become a member of the 1977 Fund, a police officer or firefighter must:

  • *Pass the required statewide baseline physical, the local board's mental examinations; and
  • Be less than thirty-six (36) years of age.

    *Your department may administer additional physical agility or mental examination tests.

    Public safety officers perform the functions of a police officer and firefighter for a single employer. They are covered in the 1977 Fund if they meet the baseline requirements.

    1. Active 1977 Fund members can separate from one 1977 Fund participating employer to become employer with another participating 1977 Fund employer. Age limitations and physical and mental requirements for admission are waived if reemployment occurs within 180 days after separation. The 180-day limitation does not apply to 1977 Fund members who are reinstated with a police or fire department following a layoff for financial reasons.
    2. If the enrollment effective date of an otherwise qualified 1977 Fund member is or was delayed due to an error or omission by the local board or hiring authority, the member or the member’s employer may purchase service at the actuarial cost that would have been credited to the 1977 Fund for that error or omission. The member is not prohibited from joining the 1977 Fund if he or she was age eligible at the time of application.
    3. The local board shall submit certification of the baseline statewide physical examination results within six (6) months of the examination date. If INPRS receives the certification more than six (6) months after the examination date, the requirements for submission have not been met. However, the applicant may petition INPRS to accept the certification. The petition must be in writing and signed by the applicant. The petition must provide a reason why the certification should be accepted. INPRS, in its sole discretion, shall decide if the certification is acceptable.

Members of the 1977 Fund may purchase up to two years of military service credit, under certain conditions.

Members of the 1977 Fund may purchase, at full actuarial cost, prior service in other public retirement funds including the Public Employees' Retirement Fund, Indiana State Teachers' Retirement Fund, State Excise Police, Gaming Agent, Gaming Control Officer and Conservation Enforcement Officers' Retirement Plan, the State Police Trust and the Sheriff's Pension Trust.

Members of the 1977 Fund may purchase, at full actuarial cost, service earned out of state in a position for which the 1977 Fund would give credit if the service were earned in Indiana.

Base Salary

Throughout this handbook, you will see references to the term “base salary.” All benefits paid by the 1977 Fund are calculated according to this amount. The base salary is defined by state law as the salary of a first-class police officer or firefighter plus all longevity increases (if provided by the employer) for service of twenty (20) years or less, as certified to the 1977 Fund by each department. Upon retirement, benefits are based on the base salary effective for your department in the year your service ends. This first-class salary varies from employer to employer and is certified annually to the 1977 Fund.

Section Two: Contributions